The Martian, the movie, gets a STAR from me for several reasons. My first reason goes back to my review of the book a few months ago (read it here). Although I considered it one of the best books I’d ever read, I was not able to give it a full endorsement because of the over abundance of fowl language throughout the book. The movie dials back the bad language to a much more reasonable level. The cussing is still there, mind you, but it’s only a fraction of what was in the book. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a big improvement.
I also liked the movie because it gave a faithful interpretation of the book. There were definitely large parts of the book that didn’t make it to the big screen, in particular much of the scientific problem solving that the hero had to do to survive. That’s to be expected with any transition to a movie format. I felt that there was still plenty of science displayed in the movie to get the true flavor of the book.
The movie was perfectly cast from Matt Damon and the rest of the astronaut crew up in space to the administrative and technical staff of NASA back on earth. I applaud director Ridley Scott for remaining true to the source material for the most part and giving us a well-paced, entertaining, and good-looking movie.
I recommend The Martian for fans of science fiction as well as fans of science in general, especially people who like problem solving. Anyone in the latter category should definitely read the book. The amount of problem solving that astronaut Mark Watney does in the book in order to stay alive is astounding.
I am also happy to say that I can recommend The Martian (the movie) for kids 13 and up. Besides some bad language, there are no other content concerns. Of course there is one shot of Mark Watney’s bare behind, but it’s only shown to make the point of how malnourished he is. I can’t imagine anyone thinking that shot is sexy. Overall, I give The Martian a STAR!